UNION members have held a protest in a bid to get representation at the new £1billion London Gateway port in Thurrock.

Unite members demonstrated at the Uniserve depot outside the Port of Tilbury after owners at the new port failed to reach an agreement with the union over whether workers should be given union representation.

Flags were waved and horns were blown as about 30 activists showed their support.

Uniserve is the largest British, privately-owned international freight and logistics company in the UK and has confirmed it is hoping to be part of London Gateway. Europe’s largest logistics park will be adjacent to and integrated with the new port.

Unite argues that far from creating jobs, London Gateway could suck business and jobs from other UK ports, while at the same time undermining pay and other terms and conditions of its workforce.

Unite regional officer Jane Jeffery said: “The protest was aimed at highlighting the fact London Gateway could drain employment and business away from other UK docks.

“Unite believes the refusal to recognise the union at London Gateway will mean a race to the bottom in terms of employment conditions.

“It could also threaten the future viability of other container ports.”

The port is the only major dock in the country that does not have worker representation.

! Claridon, a logistics company based in Stanford-le-Hope, is the latest company to announce it will be using the port, meaning it wouldn’t have to travel to Felixstowe to ship loads.

Meanwhile, it was announced Southern Africa Express Container Service will be docking at London Gateway when it opens later this year.